"With an afterword by Seymour Krim, with a new afterword by Ann Charters"--Cover
The novel that launched the beat generation's literary legacy describes the world of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Neil Cassady. Drafted two months before Jack Kerouac began On The Road, Go is the first and most accurate chronicle of the private lives lived by the Beats before they became public figures. In honest, lucid fictional prose designed to capture the events, emotions, and essence of his experience among the Beats, Holmes describes an individualistic post--World War II New York where crime is celebrated, writing is revered, and parties, booze, discussions, drugs, and sex punctuate life. The most tentative and conservative of the Beats, Holmes's intelligent and sensitive voice also details the pressures and regrets that his lifestyle gave birth to. With portraits of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neil Cassady, William Burroughs, this first novel about the Beat Generation gives us a peek into what it meant to be a Beat before the term had ever been used
April 9, 2020 Subject:
interesting in its awfulness
I wouldn't recommend it unless you've got a strong interest in the people and period. He writes like an outsider recording specimens for which he has little genuine sympathy or liking. The Ginsberg character comes off best, though the versions of his poems are dreadful. He probably sensed that Ginsberg and Kerouac had a big future so he presents them rather flatteringly. Not so the character based on the fellow who kills himself trying to get out off a moving train. His characterisations of the women are offensive. He presents the woman who had the misfortune to be Kerouac's 2nd wife as, to be frank, a half witted whining slut who deserves whatever abuse is committed against her. Then he then has the bad manners (he presents himself as being a bit of a nice boy from a Good Family having his little adventure in the mud) to use this very young woman's real name as the name of a bar where characters meet towards the end. I mistakenly thought an alternative, reasonable but straight person's version of the On the Road scene might be illuminating some way.